A man was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to aggravated possession of drugs upon his arraignment on Saturday, after having spent the past three months under police bail.

Charleston Cassar, a 26-year old Cospicua resident was charged with aggravated possession of cocaine and heroin, during the operative period of a suspended sentence. He was further charged with recidivism.

Inspector Anthony Scerri informed the court how in September a police search had resulted in the arrest of six individuals. Mr Cassar was subsequently granted police bail pending ongoing investigations.

However, upon being informed by a court-appointed expert that the man’s DNA had been discovered on a knife and scales retrieved during the search, the police promptly re-arrested the suspect on Friday.

A request for bail was objected to by the prosecution in view of the ongoing investigations which could lead to further arraignments.

Defence lawyers countered that there was no real fear of tampering since the evidence leading to the arrest had been scientific in nature.

Moreover, Mr Cassar had been on police bail for the past three months and had every opportunity to talk to the other persons under investigation, defence lawyers argued.

After hearing these submissions, the court, presided over by magistrate Ian Farrugia, turned down the request, remanding the man in custody.

Lawyers Alfred Abela, Arthur Azzopardi and Franco Debono were defence counsel.